Leeds Arts University BA (Hons) Fashion students selected for TikTok residency

05 August 2020

Three Leeds Arts University BA (Hons) Fashion students are among those to design for TikTok’s first range of merchandise in Europe as part of a new partnership between Graduate Fashion Foundation (GFF) and TikTok.

Alarna Barry Elisabet BenderImages: Alarna Barry (left) & Elisabet Bender (right) on the GFFxTikTok residency with their designs. Photos courtesy of Graduate Fashion Foundation 

BA (Hons) Fashion students Alarna Barry, Elisabet Bender and Emily Fraser were selected to take part in a five-day London residency in a professional factory environment. They joined over 70 students from the 38 Graduate Fashion Foundation’s membership universities for the opportunity to access practical industry experience, learn new skills and work to a live brief for TikTok.

The partnership was created by Graduate Fashion Foundation and TikTok to support fashion graduates who, as a result of Covid-19, have missed out on year-end opportunities to gain exposure and access to fashion industry professionals, such as participation in Graduate Fashion Week and final-year catwalk shows.

Image: Emily Fraser on the GFF x TikTok residency with her design. Photo courtesy of Graduate Fashion Foundation 

During the residency the students learnt about design for manufacturing, grading and realising designs into commercial patterns, production lines and quality control, as well as receiving mentoring from some of today’s leading designers, GFF patrons and TikTok Creators including GFF President, Hilary Alexander OBE and GFF Ambassador, Henry Holland.

Image: GFF Ambassador and fashion designer Henry Holland with a TikTok garment designed by Leeds Arts University student, Alarna Barry. Photo courtesy of Graduate Fashion Foundation 

Nicola Knight, Course Leader, BA Fashion said: “GFFxTikTok is an inspirational partnership that has given students an unforgettable development opportunity and experience. We have been extremely fortunate that our students, through the University’s membership of the Graduate Fashion Foundation, have continued to be able to access dynamic initiatives giving them exposure to the fashion industry this summer.”

Elisbet Bender made four pairs of joggers inspired by TikTok dance culture and the brand’s logo colours. She said: “I liked meeting graduates from other universities and the amazing staff that helped us in developing and making our garments. The best thing I will be taking away from this experience is new friends and confidence in making items quickly and efficiently.”

Alarna Barry, Elisabet Bender and Emily Fraser are featured in Leeds Arts University Show 2020, which showcases the work of over 500 graduating artists and creatives in the University’s first digital undergraduate show until 30 September.